The Encyclopedia of Game.Machines: Learn About the History of Gaming

If you’ve ever wanted to learn about the history of gaming and the myriad of console, handheld and PC hardware inventions that have made this marvelous form of interactive entertainment possible over the years, then Gameplan Publishing has just the book to quench your thirst for video gaming knowledge.

Detailing 500 gaming machines in 224 pages of images, historical background information and technical data, The Encyclopedia of Game.Machines chronicles nearly every gaming console, home computer system and portable gaming device from Japan, USA, UK, France, Germany and Korea since 1972 all the way up to the current generation.

Originally published in Germany as “Spielkonsolen und Heimcomputer“, The Encyclopedia of Game.Machines is a revised and greatly expanded edition of that previously unreleased book, featuring 200 exclusive new hardware images shot by former Playboy photographer Christian Boehm specifically for this edition.

Two years in the making, this book covers 33 years of gaming hardware with in-depth information and the aforementioned hardware shots. Over the book’s 200-plus pages, author Winnie Forster details five eras of video game hardware, including the birth of home game machines with systems like the Magnavox Odyssey, Apple II, Atari 800 and Mattel’s Intellivision all the way up to the current generation of video game technology including the likes of the PS2, Xbox, GameCube, PSP and DS.

The book also covers everything else in between, which includes, among many others, the NES, Colecovision, Amiga, Neo Geo, Game Gear, SNES, Jaguar, Sega Saturn, Nintendo 64, PlayStation, GBA and on and on and on.

Accompanying the descriptions of these machines, a small info box heads each piece of hardware detailing the number of games developed for the system, how many units it sold and so on. Each system has also been rated on a 5-star scale determined by the quality and quantity of its software library.

In the book’s appendix, detailed technical data about each machine is also listed (CPU, Memory, Storage, Connections, etc.) along with a brief explanation about what the data means so those who aren’t that familiar with the under-the-hood aspects of computers and gaming can understand what’s being explained. There’s a ton of information here and it is accessible to everyone, no matter what your interest level or knowledge of the medium is.

Whether you are a hardcore gamer and collector or someone with merely a casual interest in the rapidly growing industry, The Encyclopedia of Game.Machines is a book you simply must pick up and read. The Encyclopedia of Game.Machines perfectly illuminates how far the gaming industry has come over the years and is an excellent historical accounting of the past 30-plus years of video game technology as it relates to console platforms, home PC’s and handheld devices. If you’re into gaming in any capacity, this is a book you’d be foolish to miss.

The Encyclopedia of Game.Machines
is currently only available via certain specialty vendors and Gameplan’s own websites. For more information about the book visit the official website at

The Encyclopedia of Game.Machines
MSRP: $32.00 US, $39.80 Canada
Publisher: Gameplan Publishing

Rating: 5/5

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